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Playing double bass line art



Bassist - Composer - Educator

Sydney, Australia


Playing double bass line art

Hannah is an award-winning bassist and composer in Sydney, Australia.

She leads the acclaimed ten-piece ensemble Pharos, the HJT (Hannah James Trio) and HJQuintet. She is a member of leading Australian Jazz ensembles the Jazz Groove Mothership Orchestra, Mingus Amongst Us, Andrew Robertson Big Band, feel-good New Orleans band The Crawfish Po’Boys, the award-winning “Lady Sings it Better”, portugese inspired Alma Orkestra, fusion project Energetic Zen and Divergence Jazz Ensemble. Playing credits include Don Burrows, Katie Noonan, Ingrid and Christine Jensen (USA), Helen Sung (USA), Lakecia Benjamin (USA), Silke Eberhardt (Ger.), Sandy Evans and Matt Keegan amongst others. She was the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Jann Rutherford Memorial Award and a recipient of the ANU Undergraduate Scholarship for four consecutive years. Hannah has performed across Australia, the UK and Asia in jazz, contemporary pop and theatre productions. When she is not performing, Hannah is the first full time female lecturer in Jazz Studies at The Sydney Conservatorium of Music.


Playing double bass line art


Intimate musical interplay by three longtime collaborators. Hannah James (Double Bass), Steve Barry (Piano) and Jamie Cameron (Drums).

Pharos is the all female 10 Piece powerhouse ensemble promoting large ensemble works by outstanding local and international artists.


Timbral explorations for contemporary quintet feat. Paul Cutland (woodwinds), Casey Golden (piano), Peter Koopman (Guitar) Jamie Cameron (Drums).

Eucalypt Treeo

New collaboration between Rafael Karlen (Saxophone) and Steve Barry (piano) exploring the wonders of NSW National Parks and Wild Spaces. Album coming out on ABC Jazz 2023!

These players in Pharos understood the key to playing great jazz: an invulnerable attachment to the spirit of the music, and the ceaseless tenacity to explore the full range of human dynamics through intuitive collaboration - Limelight Magazine


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1. the ancient lighthouse built by Ptolemy and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world

2. a lighthouse or beacon

Pharos is the 10-piece powerhouse all female ensemble led by Hannah James. Featuring a 6 piece horn section and 4 piece rhythm section, this unique and electrifying collective merge the best of the big band with the flexibility, creativity and genre bending exploration you expect from any modern ensemble.

Formed in 2016 the group seeks to be a beacon promoting female and non-binary composers and local Australian writers and features some of Australia's leading creative instrumentalists.

The group has worked with a stella brief of of national and international composer's and performers including Sandy Evans (AU), Lakecia Benjamin (USA), Ingrid and Christine Jensen (Can/USA), Helen Sung (USA), Silke Eberhardt (Ger).

Pharos has been proud to support emerging composers through the SIMA/APRA emerging composer commissions and presents regular school workshops on Modern Composition and Jazz Big Band Playing.

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